Trump pulls out of debate
December 13th, 2011
02:19 PM ET
8 years ago

Trump pulls out of debate

(CNN) - Donald Trump pulled out of the debate he was scheduled to host on Dec. 27 with conservative media organization Newsmax, according to a statement from the real estate mogul.

Trump, who considered a Republican presidential bid earlier this year, said he will not moderate the event to avoid a conflict of interest stemming from a potential independent presidential bid.

"It is very important to me that the right Republican candidate be chosen to defeat the failed and very destructive Obama Administration, but if that Republican, in my opinion, is not the right candidate, I am not willing to give up my right to run as an Independent candidate," Trump said in a statement. "Therefore, so that there is no conflict of interest within the Republican Party, I have decided not to be the moderator of the Newsmax debate."

Republican candidates Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, and Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, agreed to participate in the debate, but Trump said other candidates declined because of his potential run.

"I would like to thank Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum for having the courage, conviction, and confidence to immediately accept being a part of the Newsmax debate," Trump said. "I believe this would not only have been the most watched debate, but also the most substantive and interesting debate!"

Responding to the announcement on Tuesday, Santorum said he was looking forward to a match with Gingrich at the debate.

"The media has anointed Newt as the frontrunner, isn't it time he go toe to toe with the consistent conservative alternative? The people of Iowa deserve as many opportunities to hear from the candidates as possible, because while Obama is beatable, we have to elect a conservative nominee who's record is a clear contrast to the President's," Santorum said in a statement to CNN.

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who's met with Trump multiple times, was widely expected to attend the debate but made headlines last week when she declined the invitation.

On Tuesday she explained her decision, saying the debate ultimately wouldn't be worth her time given that only three candidates would be facing off on stage.

"It wasn't going to be a real debate," she said on Sean Hannity's conservative radio talk show. "There was no point in it."

Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus took issue last week with Trump's impending role as moderator, calling into question his potential run as an independent and saying he would understand if some 2012 candidates turned down the offer.

"I think that having a successful businessman serving as a moderator has a lot of value but the issue here is whether the moderator should be a person who is still batting around the idea of running as an independent," Priebus said on Fox News.

Also see:

Gingrich, Huntsman's friendly foreign policy debate

Giuliani: Gingrich may be stronger than Romney

Cheney: Don't underestimate Gingrich

Santorum counting on Iowa


Filed under: 2012 • Donald Trump
soundoff (349 Responses)
  1. Lynda/Minnesota

    Trumps pulls out of debate with Gingrich and Santorum.

    Raise your hands if you didn't see this coming.

    December 13, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  2. Squigman

    The next time he goes to town, I hope he buys a toupee' with some brains attached.

    December 13, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  3. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    Do you get the point yet Donald? You're a joke! The most substantive debate? With only 2 candidates? Please exit to the rear Donald!!!

    December 13, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  4. Robert

    Ron Paul won this argument.

    December 13, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  5. BobAD

    Go tell it on the mountain.

    December 13, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    said he will not moderate the event to avoid a conflict of interest stemming from a potential independent presidential bid.
    ------------------------
    That's a load of bull.
    The party got cancelled because NO ONE was coming.
    Oh, and he is not running for anything but a new hairpiece.

    December 13, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  7. Nate

    C'mon Donald, "the most substantive and interesting debate" happened yesterday in New Hampshire. It's a shame we don't see more real, thoughtful political discourse. Kudos to Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich for providing us all with a much needed change from 30 second sound bites!

    December 13, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. whosurdaddie

    haha he pulled out of his own debate? not WINNING

    December 13, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  9. Brian

    Be responsible and stop giving him air time.

    December 13, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  10. Gurgi

    I didn't really think he should be moderating a debate anyway.

    December 13, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  11. John

    Once again Donald Trump Is Proving just how dumb he Is. He would lose no matter how he run.

    December 13, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    The only thing that Trump has in common with the average american is that he's filed for bankruptcy......and how many times was that.........

    December 13, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  13. Call me stupid

    Sue Donald, an Independent run at President and Santa Clause will be V.P.

    December 13, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  14. grassisland

    what happened to his yellow hair?

    December 13, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  15. mm

    chuckle chuckle chuckle....this wins funniest news of the day!

    December 13, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  16. sdfsdf

    LOL i saw this coming. No one wanted to wanted to go to this jokers debate. This man is a frikkin joke in every way, hes also at best a very shady character in my opinion.

    December 13, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  17. grassisland

    I have a dream.

    section 8 applications now being accepted for Trump Towers

    December 13, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  18. crooked bridge

    Trump is threatening to run as an independant? Oooooh, we are so scared. I would almost like to see it so we can all bear witness to him getting his "hat" handed to him. On second thought, 11 more months of him is too painful to endure.

    December 13, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  19. Ghost of Reagan

    Any publicity is a good thing, right Donald?

    December 13, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  20. jo an

    When the DEBATE was reduced to a CHAT...The Donald lost interest....Maybe NEWT can debate his image in the mirror....like NARCISSUS!!! Isn't that who he is...BOTH of 'um!! What about 'poor ole RICK'??

    December 13, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  21. us1776

    Didn't I tell you 2 weeks ago this was going to happen?

    Bye-bye mop-head.

    .

    December 13, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  22. JOhn

    hmmm..I though he was the perfect ringmaster for that circus. The ultimate flim-flam man.

    December 13, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    "Lynda/Minnesota
    Trumps pulls out of debate with Gingrich and Santorum.
    Raise your hands if you didn't see this coming."

    He was not going to be debating them, he was going to moderate the debate. Raise your hand if you comprehend the difference.

    December 13, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  24. sooz

    Good news. He is an idiot.

    December 13, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  25. Pat in IL

    Well, he finally got it! Nobody was debating and nobody was planning to listen. Took him long enough. His ego is beyond over the top, and his intelligence is called into question every time he opens his mouth.

    December 13, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
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